Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. was created following the friendly $4.3B acquisition of Osisko Mining Corporation by Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold in June 2014. The Canadian Malartic Mine lies at the heart of Osisko’s history, having been its cornerstone asset through the company’s growth from an exploration company to a mid-tier gold producer. Osisko can also rely on another world-class asset, the Éléonore royalty, acquired following the business combination between Osisko and Virginia in February 2015.
Here are the main highlights in Osisko Gold Royalties History
Using an innovative geological analysis model and applying it to publicly available data stored in the Quebec government’s geomining information system (SIGEOM), Robert Wares recognizes the potential for an open pit mining operation on the Canadian Malartic site. Osisko acquires the rights to the site in 2004.
When Osisko begins exploration in 2005, there are roughly 200 households in the area of interest. If the potential for an open pit mine is confirmed, the neighbourhood will need to be relocated. While sure to be a tricky operation, it also promises to be a great opportunity for the town and its residents: the neighbourhood’s infrastructure is in serious need of attention, with some streets in danger of collapsing into the old underground mine workings. In fact, a number of houses had already been relocated in the 1980s for safety reasons.
In May 2006, Osisko greets the population of Malartic in a local church. Management explains the company’s plans for the future open pit mine, the relocation of the South neighbourhood, and its drilling program.
In order to develop and operate the Canadian Malartic Mine, Osisko recruits an experienced team that will guide the transition from an exploration company to join the ranks of producers and become a leading mid-tier gold producer on the Canadian mining scene.
In September 2008, Osisko tables the environmental impact study for the Canadian Malartic mining project. The study was deemed admissible in January 2009 by the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.
A positive feasibility study is published in November 2008, declaring 6.28 million ounces of gold in proven and probable reserves.
Osisko concludes a framework agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife providing for the rehabilitation of the abandoned East Malartic site. The goal is to remedy the negative impact from decades of mining by past generations.
In July 2008, Osisko launches its resettlement program, which will involve moving about 150 homes to a new neighbourhood being developed in Malartic. The project also involves the construction of an elementary school, a daycare centre, an adult education centre, and subsidized housing, which are then transferred to the relevant institutional authorities. The ceremonial keys to the new neighbourhood are handed over to the Town of Malartic in October 2009.
Following public hearings held by the BAPE and numerous consultation sessions with the citizens of Malartic, the Québec government authorizes the construction of the Canadian Malartic mine. After raising more than $1 billion in financing to fund the construction phase of the project, work begins in earnest in late August 2009.
Osisko’s plans involve enormous machinery that is critical to a large-scale mining project such as Canadian Malartic. Pre-production operations prepare the material needed to build the green wall and the ROM pad (the ore stockpiling area), which is needed to start up the processing plant.
From August 2009 to May 2011, Osisko built its large-scale mining complex representing more than $1 billion in capital expenditures, more than half of which were spent directly in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. Today, the Canadian Malartic Mine employs more than 700 people, most of them from Quebec, and they are the face of Osisko.
In April 2011, after more than 800,000 metres of drilling and intense preparation, financing, and community relations work, in addition to obtaining hundreds of permits and constructing the mine, the first gold bar is poured at the “new” Canadian Malartic mine—a sight that has not been seen in Malartic for twenty-eight years!
Record monthly gold production of 51,114 ounces
Record monthly mill throughput of 1,709,572 tonnes
Record average daily throughput of 55,147 tonnes per calendar day
In June 2014, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited and Yamana Gold Inc. acquire Osisko Mining Corporation. A new Osisko is created, Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd, which retains a 5% net smelter return (NSR) on the Canadian Malartic Mine.
On November 17, 2014, Osisko and Virginia announced a proposed business combination, structured by way of a plan of arrangement. On January 12, 2015, shareholders of both Osisko and Virginia approved the business combination and the transaction is scheduled to close mid-February, 2015
On July 31, 2017, Osisko announced the successful completion of the acquisition of a high-quality precious metals portfolio of assets consisting of 74 royalties, streams and precious metal offtakes from Orion Mine Finance Group. Following the acquisition, Osisko holds a total of 131 royalties, streams and precious metal offtakes, including its cornerstone 5% net smelter return (“NSR”) royalty on the world class and long-life Canadian Malartic gold mine. This transaction positions Osisko as the leading growth royalty company in the precious metals sector and the fourth biggest royalty company in the world.